Boys have swagger, men have class, or so they say, but it seems today some men are boys and their male children are doomed to the same fate. This is the thought that came to me as I sat contemplating on why it is that men wear earrings or ‘studs’ as some call it (jewellery on the ears) and I decided to go and do a little research of my own.
It is believed that men have worn earrings for as long as civilisation has existed. Jade earrings of men dating back to 3000 BC have been found in Southeast Asia. In ancient times, men wore earrings in places like Assyria and Babylonia to denote their rank in society. Aztec warriors wore them as a mark of honour.
Even primitive man pierced himself to wear earrings which were not mere adornments that spoke of power, but priced possessions as well. It is also believed that even slaves have worn earrings or bracelets as a symbol of slavery.
Further research on the internet explained that it is of Hindu customs and practices performed in the third or fifth year for some Hindu children. Scholars studying the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) would say the religions condemn men wearing gold jewellery or piercings because it is a sign of cross-dressing which is (to their belief) an ultimate disgrace to God.
But to narrow it down… why is it that in our modern society men still wear earrings? To find the answer I asked a few people what they thought of men wearing the supposed feminine jewellery.
Several people felt that men wear earrings to fit in with the current trend, their style, an expression of who they are by wearing ‘bling’. Some others still believe that they see it as a means of enhancing their appearance. Yet others opined that they wear the jewellery to fit into society. To this I say, Guys… don’t fit in – STAND OUT, look smart and classy and people will respect you more. Will you seriously walk into an office for a job interview wearing your bling?
A while back I was standing in a line at the Guyana Elections Commission office preparing to have my photograph taken. The line was held up by a man refusing to take off his jewellery with the argument that if women could wear them why couldn’t he. To which the official replied abruptly, “Because you are not a woman, sir. Would you like me to change your gender on your ID card?” End of argument.
This brings me to the next response I got: Some people think it represents something – wear it on the right side and you’re gay, wear it on one side you’re looking, wear two and you’re taken.
A few mentioned that it goes against the social stereotype that earrings are only for females and proves that they can be worn in a masculine manner. I suppose fashion starts out as unfamiliar trends then picks up, but then some fashions can only go so far. Earrings are something I don’t think any government official or executive would wear.
My next question is why do men wear pants below their hips? My point of view is that they are calling alpha mates like baboons, what are your views? (Jairo Rodrigues)